Gabriele Tredozi was born and grew up in the town of Brisighella, close to Imola. Like most Italian boys he was mad about cars and he dreamed that one day he might somehow become involved in Formula 1 racing. That passion was translated into an interest in mechanical engineering and he duly won a place at the famous engineering school at Bologna University. While he was still a student he heard that Minardi was looking for engineers and went for an interview at the Minardi headquarters in Faenza, just down the road from Brisighella. He was hired immediately and in 1988 began working with the race team as an assistant race engineer with Pierluigi Martini and Spaniard Adrian Campos. His relationship with Martini was to be a long-term one and he would engineer Pierluigi for a total of five seasons: between 1989 and 1991 and then again during 1994 and 1995 when Martini returned to the team when Minardi and Scuderia Italia merged their operations.